PARIS—France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “liar” during a recent conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama that was overheard by reporters, according to a French website’s report of the incident.
“I can’t stand him anymore, he is a liar,” Mr. Sarkozy told Mr. Obama as the two were preparing to start a press conference during a summit of the Group of 20 world’s largest economies in Cannes last week.
“You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day,” Mr. Obama replied, according to the French site, Arrêt sur Images.
A spokesman for Mr. Sarkozy, a spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu and a White House official declined to comment.
Senior French government officials have criticized Mr. Netanyahu in recent months, saying the Prime Minister’s refusal to freeze Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories prevented a resumption of peace talks with Palestine leaders. Yet, the Cannes exchange could indicate that France is leaning towards adopting a tougher stance against Israel.